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Pakistani flag issue: Home Minister directs J&K CM Mufti Sayeed to take ‘immediate and stringent action’ against separatist rally

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

In an effort to reign in calls of a separate state in Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has commanded Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to take “immediate and stringent action” in this regard.

The directive comes in the backdrop of Pakistan flags being unfurled at the rally of Kashmiri separatist Masrat Alam, who was controversially released from prison recently.

As per reports, the Home Minister instructed the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister that there can be no compromise on national security. “Politics cannot impinge on national security,” Singh said.

Masarat Alam is the alleged mastermind behind the massive protests in 2010 that saw Kashmiris clashing for months with soldiers and police officers. More than 100 people were killed in the violence.

In March, days after the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took charge as chief minister in partnership with BJP,  Alam was released controversially from Baramulla jail.

Masarat Alam had organized the current separatist rally in Srinagar to welcome Hurriyat Conference hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani back to the Valley after several months in Delhi.

During the protest, Alam’s supporters marched through the city and waved Pakistani flags in front of the Director General of Police office.

“It is absolutely condemnable. No one has right to raise pro-Pakistani slogans in this country. Those who have done it have violated the law of the country. I am sure the state government will act in the strictest possible manner against Masarat Alam and his supporters,” said the BJP’s Sambit Patra.

Earlier, Masrat Alam’s release from prison had left the BJP government red-faced and had become a raging focal point of conflict in its tense partnership with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Jammu and Kashmir cabinet gets five fresh additions

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Health Minister Bali Bhagat and junior Minister Priya Sethi will not be included in the new council, Top party sources said late Sunday.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will induct five new faces in the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet and has also decided to drop three ministers in the much-awaited coalition ministry reshuffle slated to take place on Monday.
BJP logo, Wikimedia commons

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will induct five new faces in the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet and has also decided to drop three ministers in the much-awaited coalition ministry reshuffle slated to take place on Monday.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Health Minister Bali Bhagat and junior Minister Priya Sethi will not be included in the new council, Top party sources said late Sunday.

"Among the existing ministers, Sunil Sharma will be elevated to cabinet rank," the sources added.
Jammu and Kashmir Map, wikimedia commons

“Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta will be the new Deputy Chief Minister. Nirmal Singh who will be named the new Sspeaker of the state Legislative Assembly,” the sources said.

“The other legislators who will be inducted into the cabinet today are Sat Sharma, Rajiv Jasrotia, Devender Maniyal and Shakti Parihar.

“Parihar will be sworn in as a junior minister while the other four will be of cabinet minister rank.

“Among the existing ministers, Sunil Sharma will be elevated to cabinet rank,” the sources added.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also inducting two new faces into the council.

Also Read: Modi govt. is developing Buddhist tourism in the country

Pulwama MLA Muhammad Khalil Bhand and Sonawar MLA Muhammad Ashraf Mir will be sworn-in on Monday.

State Governor N.N. Vohra will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at the Convention Centre here.

Portfolios of the Council of Ministers will be announced by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti later on Monday. (IANS)